Tasnim Nazeer speaks to NHS doctors and nurses from minority communities who have experienced discrimination in the workforce.
The disproportionate number of black and ethnic minority health workers dying from COVID-19 could be linked to racism within the medical profession.
As Byline Times revealed last week, a shocking 97% of Britain’s medical staff who have died from COVID-19 are from BAME backgrounds, while 65% of nursing staff and 63% of healthcare assistants who have died also come from Britain’s diverse BAME communities.
However, an issue that has not yet been explored is the role discrimination within the profession may be playing in contributing to BAME staff being put at a greater risk from COVID-19.
Dr Asifa Khan (not her real name) has been working as a doctor in England for four years. She told Byline Times that she has faced racism during this time.
“I have experienced being discriminated against by senior colleagues who would smirk at me, talk about me behind my back and make me feel bad in the rare occasions that I had to take sick leave,” she said. “When the pandemic hit, I knew I would be the first to be called in, even though the work is not being shared out properly with my white counterpart colleagues. There are levels of discrimination against us in the NHS. To me, this has been an issue for a long time but has never been addressed properly. I know many other Muslim and Asian doctors like myself who have experienced the same. I cannot talk to senior colleagues because I don’t feel comfortable speaking to them.”
Dr Khan said that her hospital still does not have adequate supplies of PPE and that she now has the Coronavirus. Read more